Several Harford County organizations came together this holiday season to give more than 215 high-quality new winter coats to local children and families in need, generating smiles all around at events held December 13 – 15, 2016. Harford County government helped to organize the events, which were made possible by generous contributions from Spartan Surfaces, Harford Mutual Insurance Company, APG Federal Credit Union and Jones Junction. The Harford County departments of Community Services and Housing & Community Development, in partnership with the nonprofit Harford Community Action Agency (HCAA) and United Way of Central Maryland, helped connect the philanthropic companies to those in need, arranging transportation, and providing event and volunteer support. This is the second year that Harford County government, under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman, has helped coordinate a coat drive for at-risk families.
On Tuesday, December 13, staff from Community Services and the HCAA joined representatives of Harford Mutual Insurance Company at the PAL Center in Edgewood to provide 60 coats to children attending Edgewood’s Early Head Start Program and 26 coats to children attending the Edgewood After- School Program.
The following day, 23 coats were presented to representatives of Magnolia Elementary School by APG Federal Credit Union and Jones Junction. The coats will be given to Magnolia Elementary School students who are experiencing, or at-risk-of, homelessness.
The week culminated in an event on Thursday, December 15 hosted and sponsored by Spartan Surfaces in Bel Air. The company brought in 110 volunteers from their offices and showrooms across the nation to their Bel Air headquarters to take part in the festivities for families in need. Families from Harford Family House, The Arc NCR, Upper Bay Counseling & Support Services, SARC, and Anna’s House enjoyed a holiday celebration complete with dinner, photos with Santa, craft stations and entertainment. Families were also given casseroles and handmade lunches to take with them, and every family member received a new winter coat, boots, mittens, and hats. Harford County Public Library provided a book for each child. Children were also invited to “shop” for gifts for their parents and caregivers. The event served 42 families and more than 100 children.
In addition, Spartan Surfaces volunteers prepared casseroles and bag lunches for individuals at FCCAU Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Belcamp, and for Homecoming Project, a home for women in recovery.
“Imagine a child out in the cold this winter, going to school in the rain and snow or trying to play outdoors without a good winter coat,” said County Executive Barry Glassman. “Thanks to the generosity of Spartan Surfaces, Harford Mutual Insurance Company, APG Federal Credit Union and Jones Junction, and our community partners, we were able to help more than 215 Harford County kids and their families stay healthy and warm this winter.”